Heavenly Crested Butte

WOW and repeat. I’m not sure that there is an adjective that can describe the natural beauty of summertime in Crested Butte. I’m open to suggestions, though.

After 4 nights of dry camping, we chose to stay in an RV Park. The only one in town is CB RV Park. Two miles outside of town. Next to a river, surrounded by mountains.

Perfect !

So we set up camp and headed for the town. It reminds me of Telluride, country chic.

And really friendly people! Terry and I avoided an afternoon thunderstorm by ducking into the nearest door, which was serendipitous because we ended up having a lot of fun.

And with 5 minutes left of happy hour, we made swift decisions.

Chipotle, tomatillo, and pineapple habanero salsas! Yes please! And a side order of Don Julio, a homemade margarita, and a local craft beer. $10.94 total 😳. Yes of course we left a generous tip. 😌

Crested Butte has a wildflower festival annually. I’m happy to be here right before the event begins. Many of the flowers are in bloom. It’s a sight to see.

People in this town are very proud of the activities CB has to offer. Many of the hikes I had chosen were off the table because of the heavy snow still on the trails. Snowmelt makes the rivers dangerous and impossible to cross.

A local resident recommended Snodgrass Trail, near Washington Gulch. It did not disappoint.

Big open sky, snow capped mountains, and did I mention flowers???

Snodgrass is rated moderate, a 6 + mile out and back hike through meadows and aspen groves. There was some elevation, but nothing that made us turn back.

Snodgrass was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever had the good fortune to experience.

Terry wanted to try his luck at fly fishing the following day. Let’s do this!

I am wearing my trout-fit…get it?? 🤣

So that was the catch of the day.

Last night was our final night in Crested Butte. The Cocktail House is an off the main path, funky log cabin with fancy drinks. 👍

And our next stop was Eldo Brewery and Tap Room. With live music on the deck.

We met fun people and just took it all in. And as we pulled into the RV Park, the night sky was filled with stars! The Milky Way stretched across; glowing with celestial energy. I’ll never forget it.

Now it’s time to pack up PeeWee and get to Palisade. I hope you were able to feel the vibe of this beautiful mountain paradise.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

The ride here from Cañon City was beautiful. We took Hwy 50 west, through Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The Arkansas River was flowing swiftly with all of the snowmelt. We headed south at Poncha Springs on Hwy 17. The road was flat and the Sangre de Cristo mountains provided excellent scenery as we headed toward San Luis State Park.

The campsite is in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. But it’s not far from Great Sand Dunes National Park, which has been on my list of adventures for some time. This place is magical! Check this out! These sand dunes are the tallest dunes in North America. The sand comes from two mountain ranges; the San Juan and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Wind and water over thousands of years piled the sand to create this magnificent area.

The water that flows during late spring/early summer comes from Medano Creek. People love to splash and cool off in this pristine space. This is Terry.

Oh, and the dunes!! The sand is soft and silky and the wind blows it into patterns. I couldn’t wait to climb as high as I possibly could!

Terry once again indulged me by accompanying me all the way up to the summit of High Dune. It took us awhile, with frequent breaks, but dammit we made it!!

Coming down was really fun, and I was glad to soak in the creek. We hung out for awhile, then went back to PeeWee for lunch.

It gets too hot to hang at the campsite, so we headed to a hot springs pool.

Good clean fun included cocktails. Tomorrow we leave for Crested Butte. 👍😊

Thanks for riding along with us.

On the road again with PeeWee and the Toad

Ok, so I’m happy to admit I have really missed the traveling lifestyle. This time around, I know I have a home to return to. But for the next 12 days, it’s mountains, bright sunshine, starry nights, and fresh air!

We are just west of Cañon City Colorado, in a camping area called Penrose Royal Gorge East Ridge. It’s basically boondocking but with a picnic table, a fire ring, and a gravel spot that’s pretty level. We are prepared with water and food. And libations. 🍺

The hike we took on the first day was sweet. It was quite warm; about 85 degrees. The views of the Gorge were amazing!

The flowers are in bloom. I’m so entertained by their simple beauty.

Our bike ride to see the Royal Gorge bridge was short and downhill. The bridge is an engineering marvel.

The ride back was not easy. I think I was in better shape last year 😳.

Ahhh, the sunsets here are beautiful. And the evenings are breezy and warm.

And now we are off to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Life is good.

Settling into Autumn 2018

Looking back to last year and comparing what’s happening now to then brings up lots of crazy feelings. I really loved life as a full time RV couple. Not everyone that knows me believes this, but it’s true. I especially loved seeing new landscapes and learning about local culture. From Canada to Mexico and all over the USA west of Denver; what an amazing experience.

Now we are here, living in our new home in Longmont Colorado. Life is good. But I’m here to tell you we went through some rough times while adjusting to life in “sticks and bricks.” There were moments that I thought I had made a monumental mistake by buying a house. Terry and I were on completely different wavelengths. We argued constantly. After spending 10 months together in 400 square feet and now this??

The good news is that we never lost sight of the love and respect we have for each other. Talking it out; not easy for me, was truly the way to making peace with each other and our decision to settle down.

Our friends helped us feel welcome again, without even knowing we were feeling out of sorts.

So, Terry and I are living well, happy, and healthy. Terry got a job at Ute Creek golf course. He gets up at 4:30 in the morning and goes to the golf course to cut the grass. I’m sure it’s more detail than that, but I know he’s tired when he comes home at around lunchtime. The perk is free golf. and he takes advantage of it!

I am doing a lot of calligraphy. I found an app called Thumbtack that I have gotten most of my customers from.

Those are just a few examples. I did the calligraphy for Mike and Katie’s wedding.

I’m also tutoring for children with dyslexia. It’s challenging work, but I enjoy it.

And… I’m back in the classroom but this time as a substitute teacher! I am really enjoying this! I love being in school again, working to help teachers out, and especially meeting and working with kids!! I did not think I was going to like this very much but I’m very happy doing it.

So, that’s that. I was thinking about this blog during my morning run and I wanted to update those of you who are interested.

Thanks for reading, and until the next time. ❤️

Estes Park: Michael and Katie say “I do.”

This long awaited event was everything I had hoped it would be. It began with family gathering at our new home in Longmont. The first thing Ane wanted to do was to go to Target!

And of course we went to the mountains to cool off in the river.

Packing up the next day was tricky, because we had 7 people and 2 small cars. And luggage. And wedding stuff. But everyone was in good spirits and we managed.

Our family enjoys hiking, and Rocky Mountain National Park has limitless opportunities to explore.

The following day, Terry and I hosted a dinner for the bridal party and families. It was so much fun!

Stephanie gave a speech that brought us to tears! Her and Mike are besties, even though sometimes they fight like animals!

Thank you so much Jack Joyce for capturing that on video. 😊

Friday was activity day. Some people chose golf at Estes Park golf club.

And some of us went on a hike in the park.

Friday late afternoon was hosted by Katie’s father Brian Savage. It was such a wonderful event! By that time, most of the guests had arrived and were in celebration mode!

And finally, 8-18-18. The BIG DAY. All of the planning, all of the preparation, well it all came together that special day to unite Michael and Katie in love and marriage. It was a magnificent event. Terry was the officiant for the ceremony and nobody could have done it better.

The colors and light were amazing. Love and excitement were in the air!

Flowers adorned the natural setting. Everything was in place, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Then, we were gathered together, and just like that, like a blink of an eye, I walked down the aisle with my son, memory upon memory of my sweet, little lammie pie baby who grew into the man I had always hoped he would. This moment was so precious and I’ll never forget it.

My sister sat next to me as we watched the ceremony happen. 💕 I wished I had a photo of us.

Katie was a vision of loveliness in her wedding dress. She had a big smile on her face all day!

Terry said, “By the power vested in me by the state of Colorado, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Katie, you may kiss your husband. Mike, you may kiss her back.” 😊💕

Then Stella came running up and made the union complete!

Everyone loves Stella!!!

Now, the party begins!

A wedding is an opportunity for people to come together in love and celebration. People who don’t often see each other reunite and reconnect. It’s a celebration with deeply human emotions.

The party raged, even through the rain storm later on that evening.

The party continued (without me) and I hear it was epic.

Clearly, it was a good time had by all who attended. Luckily for me, I was snuggled up with my fabulous four grandchildren watching Hercules. 👍😉

The next morning, guests were treated to coffee and breakfast treats. Some said their goodbyes, and the rest of us either slept in or went on the pontoon boat on Lake Estes.

Finally, Monday arrived with all of the emotions of exhaustion and happiness. Michael and Katie and Stella left for their honeymoon adventure in South Dakota. The rest of our family headed to Longmont for a brief after party with a stop over of friends before they caught their flights. Then, because we just can’t get enough adventure, we went to the river again.

So, that’s it. I’m a proud and happy mama. Terry and I count our blessings every day. This crazy family of ours, although far apart in distance, is closer than ever, brought together in the name of Love.

I renewed the blog…

I decided that it was time to tell my readers that I want to keep blogging.  Even though PeeWee is getting some rest from his big adventure, I still would like to let others know about how it feels to stop being full time RVr’s.

IMG_6093As you know, I love it here in Longmont, Colorado.  I love it so much that we bought a house here.  And, oh how I love this house.  It needs some updating, but I can do it, with Terry’s help.  We both have been spending much of our free time working on house projects.  And it’s not always fun.  It can be frustrating, as well as expensive.  But I think we can be happy here.

IMG_6231Yes, the chalkboard green has to go.  I’m just not feeling it.

Terry is working hard to adjust to life NOT on the road.  He loved the traveling lifestyle more than I did.  There are so many parts of the full time RV lifestyle that are fabulous, but for me, I just was over it.  I wanted to come back to Colorado for so many reasons.  Terry is more adventurous and a loveable old hippie.  He could have gone on and on, from place to place with me at his side.  And I love him for that.  Often, we talk about the places we visited and the fun we had.  Instead of feeling the fondness of the memory,  we sometimes feel frustrated with each other.  This is where the strength of our love comes to the rescue.  I say this because I want readers to know that this kind of commitment, meaning RVing full time, affects couples in different ways.  So, one of the things we do to adjust to reentry, is make plans to go camping!  Those plans will have to wait until  after our big event that is coming up…Michael and Katie’s wedding here in Colorado!!!!

IMG_6471Terry and I were in Chicago in June for about 10 days.  It was great to connect with friends and family.  June 23 was Katie and Stephanie’s Happy Hour Bridal Shower at Bar Cocina.  Perfect weather and a perfect celebration!

The second celebration was for Stephanie and Jack, who will be married in December in Chicago.  YES, both kids in one year.  Gulp!

So we count our blessings, and realize that we have so much to be grateful for.  Stay tuned for lots of celebrating and BIG LOVE when Terry officiates the marriage of our son Michael James to Miss Kathleen Savage on August 18, 2018 in Estes Park, Colorado.  Our family from San Sebastian will be at the wedding, too!!! Excitement overload! Thanks for following!

I’m home😊

After I resigned from my teaching position last May, I wasn’t sure about how I felt. About anything. I kept expecting to feel something; freedom, fear, excitement…but I just didn’t feel. I’m usually a very introspective person with a clear line to my emotions, but not this time. So confused.

A wise friend told me to nurture my inner child. She told me that girl is still in me. So, first I had to find her. That’s when I remembered her; the little girl who used to run away, only to be found at the local elementary school in the kindergarten class. The little girl who used to beg to go to summer school. The little girl who used to take care of her sister and brother like she was their mama. The little girl, now a grown woman, who lost her brother to suicide. 💔 I’ll stop here.

Well, dear Lydia, our conversation had a profound effect on how I choose to treat myself and the choices I make. I’m so grateful for PeeWee’s Big Adventure because it helped me heal, both physically and emotionally. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to renew my relationship with my great love, Terry. I found out that I’m stronger than I thought.

So, PeeWee is here in Lyons Colorado. We are living here until next week. Then, we move into a HOUSE. Yes, we bought a small house in Longmont. And yes, we will still travel in PeeWee. But with our kids’ weddings approaching, maybe not as often and certainly for not as long. I’m taking one day at a time.

So, be kind to yourself. After all, you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got. I hope this doesn’t come across as preachy. I’m coming from a place of love and I wanted to share it. 💗

San Sebastián

So very far away. I’m not a great long distance traveler. For some reason, all of my senses go on high alert when I’m on a 9 hour flight. Sounds and smells really set me off. I don’t sleep much, and my eyes are too tired to read. But I keep in mind that our 4 grandkids are waiting for us, and that is enough motivation for me. We are one happy, loving, devoted family!

Ok, so the selfie stick is in the way…

Here are some examples of what we live like when we are here in Donostia:

Ok , the food is outstanding! And the wine, so delicious!

But the best thing of all is spending time with our family.❤️

Every once in awhile the sun would peek out…

The gardens are thriving because the plants get so much rain!

San Sebastián is a wonderful city that my girls from another mama live in with their families. Their friends and family here have opened up their hearts to include us.

Now if that little face doesn’t make you smile, then look again! And I’m not talking about my face. I’m one happy, well fed Noni! I’ll see you in Chicago next!

Lyons, Colorado

Lots of emotions; both high and low upon returning to the Front Range. Our travels have led us to places we only dreamed of seeing and experiences we never considered. It has been EPIC, a chance of a lifetime, another opportunity to fall in love again, time to heal and renew. I’m forever thankful for all of this.

We have decided to settle back in Longmont Colorado. It’s a wonderful place for us. We like the people we’ve met, the proximity to the mountains, and the climate. It’s kinda country, with good shopping lol!

Once we get settled in a house, we hope to have visitors, so remember that. Until then, we are living in a nice RV park in Lyons. We have tickets to visit our beautiful grandchildren in Spain. Our son and daughter are having weddings this year. Love is all around, and for that I am so very grateful. 😊❤️

Palisade Colorado😊

Crossing the state line from Utah into Colorado was emotional for me. On one hand, I feel like I’m just about home. Even though I don’t have a sticks and bricks home here heehee. On the other hand, it feels like we are nearing the end of our big adventure. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I am sure that Terry and I will make the decision that is best for us.

I am tired of RV living. It’s a great lifestyle, and it has afforded us experiences like I never imagined. But I’m just not cut out for full timing forever. Nuff said.

Terry may feel differently. I will leave that up to him to write about, if he chooses.

Palisade is a gorgeous area on the western slope. Spring is in full force there. The grapes are beginning to leaf out and apple and peach trees are on their last bloom. It’s an idyllic place with lots of sunshine and happy people.

Our friends were great hosts, as usual. But it’s time to say goodbye. For now.

Driving over Vail Pass and the Continental Divide is always exhilarating.

Terry is power driving today. He’s a good man. I’ll be in touch soon. Thank you for coming along with us!👍